The Associated Press/Ipsos Poll: West Virginia Shows Manchin Leads Among Dems, But Not With Wise In Race


Charleston, WV (AP) - If the Democratic primary were held now, Secretary of State Joe Manchin would get a decisive 48 percent of the vote among the candidates for governor, according to a poll of 452 likely party voters. By Lawrence Messina Associated Press Writer Former state senator Lloyd Jackson would follow with 19 percent of the vote, while Charleston lawyer Jim Lees would get 9 percent, the April 26-29 random phone survey found. Another 21 percent were undecided. But if incumbent Gov. Bob Wise had sought a second term, 35 percent of those polled who were not undecided said they would switch their votes to him. Wise would have drawn off 35 percent of Manchin's voters and 38 percent of Jackson's, the survey found. The poll's error of margin was 4.6 percent for Democrats surveyed. Candidate James A. Baughman, who died in March, got 1 percent, as did Lacy Wright and Lou Davis. Three people surveyed said they would vote for Philip "Icky" Frye, but none said they would for Jerry Baker. The West Virginia Poll was taken by Ipsos Public Affairs for The Associated Press, the Charleston Daily Mail and WSAZ-TV Channel 3. "We think the polls show that people have connected with Joe's positive message," Manchin campaign spokeswoman Lara Ramsburg said Monday. "They've been able to look beyond all of the negative distortions that have been thrown at Joe over the last two weeks." Manchin polled particularly well among women aged 18-49 (52 percent), people who have attended but not finished college (55 percent) and people in households earning less than $50,000 a year (51 percent). "He's done a good job as secretary of state," said one Putnam County resident polled. "He's a union man." Jackson received support from 26 percent of men age 50 or older, 24 percent of men overall and 21 percent of people aged 50 to 64. "I think that he would be good governor," one Kanawha County retiree said of Jackson. Jackson campaign manager David Callaghan said he has found the various polls released in recent weeks inconsistent as to margins of support and the ranks of the undecided. "We think that shows the situation is pretty fluid," Callaghan said Monday. "We think the election is up for grabs. People haven't made up their minds." Lees polled at 12 percent among men aged 18 to 49 and people aged 50 to 64, his best showing among age groups. Lees said his standing will only improve because he did not began airing his television ads statewide until after the poll was taken. Lees also believes that the negative ads Jackson and Manchin have slung at each other have increased the margin of undecided voters. I was hoping the undecideds would be relatively high when we got to the last two weeks," Lees said Monday. "Competing for those undecideds, I have a chance." Manchin also polled strongly in all five geographical regions defined in the survey. The Marion County native would receive 56 percent of the vote from the Monongahela River Valley Area. Jackson, of Lincoln County, performed best in the southwest coalfields and the Charleston-Huntington corridor, netting 22 percent of responses in both regions. Lees would receive 17 percent of the Charleston-Huntington vote. "I've worked for the state for 20 years. I know Joe Manchin well and I feel comfortable with him," said one female Taylor County resident. An April 25-27 survey of 611 likely Democratic voters conducted by the Manchin campaign showed similar results to the West Virginia Poll, with Manchin receiving 49 percent to 20 percent for Jackson and 9 percent for Lees. Elected secretary of state in 2000, Manchin filed his precandidacy papers in August 2001. Jackson entered the race in August 2003, shortly after Wise announced that an extramarital affair he had revealed in May had led him to end his re-election bid. A West Virginia Poll conducted a week after that announcement showed Manchin would have received 46 percent of the vote had the election been held then. Jackson had a name recognition of 17 percent. The West Virginia Poll was taken by Ipsos Public Affairs for The Associated Press, the Charleston Daily Mail and WSAZ-TV Channel 3. Between April 26-29, 2004, Ipsos Public Affairs interviewed 984 registered voters, 452 Likely Democratic primary voters, and 302 Likely Republican primary voters. The margin of error is +/- 3.1 for registered voters, +/- 4.6 for Democratic primary voters, and +/- 5.6 for Republican primary voters. Margin of error for subgroups may be higher. To view the complete filled-in questionnaire for this survey, please download the Topline Results. For more information on this press release, please contact: Thomas Riehle President, Ipsos Public Affairs Washington, D.C. 202.463.7300 About Ipsos Public Affairs Ipsos Public Affairs, headquartered in Washington D.C., is a non-partisan, objective, survey-based research company made up of campaign and political polling veterans as well as seasoned research professionals. The company conducts strategic research initiatives for a diverse number of American and international organizations, based not only on public opinion research but often elite stakeholder, corporate, and media opinion research. It has offices in New York City, Chicago, San Ramon (CA), and Washington, with affiliates around the world. Ipsos Public Affairs conducts national and international public opinion polling on behalf of The Associated Press, the world's oldest and largest news organization, and conducts the young voters poll for Ipsos Public Affairs is an Ipsos company, a leading global survey-based market research group. To learn more, visit: About Ipsos Ipsos is a leading global survey-based market research company, owned and managed by research professionals. Ipsos helps interpret, simulate, and anticipate the needs and reactions of consumers, customers, and citizens around the world. Member companies assess market potential and interpret market trends. They develop and build brands. They help clients build long-term relationships with their customers. They test advertising and study audience responses to various media. They measure public opinion around the globe. 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